Teaming up to offer the natural gas distribution and pipelinemarket more ways to manage business with their shippers andconnected operators over the Internet, Houston-based Altra EnergyTechnologies Inc. and Salt Lake City’s Questar InfoComm yesterdayunveiled a web-based module to eliminate imbalance problems thatsometimes happen when doing business in cyberspace.

The new imbalance trading module, specifically designed forlocal distribution companies (LDCs) and the pipeline market, issaid to offer “simple, seamless integration” for any size customer.The AltraWeb suite of software products now will give pipelines,gathering systems and LDCs the ability to maintain their Internetexchange, and it also may be customized for a stand-aloneoperation.

“This alliance will allow us to offer a web-enabled,off-the-shelf product that addresses a critical business need,”said Altra CEO Paul Bourke. He said the new tool offers customers away to manage their imbalances behind the city gate, on the mainline and at aggregation points systemwide.

The imbalance-trading module will be marketed by Altra andreleased this quarter for customers using the Oracle database. AStructured Query Language, or SQL, server database also is plannedfor future release.

Kelly Maxfield, general manager of Questar, said the partnershipwould give LDCs and pipeline operators an innovative way to conducttheir gas trading and transportation services without inherenttiming problems that sometimes occur in B2B.

Altra offers electronic trading platforms, transactionmanagement products and integration services for the energyindustry. Questar InfoComm, a subsidiary of Questar Corp., offersintegrated information technology and communication services. Itoperates regional digital microwave and multiple fiber opticsystems and builds and operates e-commerce centers.

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